The Weber State men's basketball team has announced the schedule for the 2011-12 season.
This year's season schedule is highlighted by three home games against in-state teams, a total of 15 regular season home games, a road game at California, a Bracketbuster home game, and a full Big Sky Conference schedule.
"Once again, we have a very difficult and challenging schedule this year," said WSU head coach Randy Rahe, who will enter his sixth season with the Wildcats this fall. "We are always looking to play as tough a schedule as we can and this year is no exception. We have a great opportunity to play several teams from Utah which is always a difficult test. Our preseason schedule always prepares us for the Big Sky schedule and the Big Sky, just like in other years, will be very difficult this season."
After playing just 12 regular season home games this year, the Wildcats will have 15 regular season home games this season.
The season will begin with an exhibition game against Colorado-Colorado Springs on Monday, Nov. 7. The regular season will open Friday, Nov. 11 with a home game against Northern New Mexico College. That game will be followed by a game against in-state rival Utah State on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at the Dee Events Center. The Wildcats will also face Southern Utah (Dec. 10) and Utah (Dec. 22) at home as well as home games against San Jose State on December 3 and Mayville State on Dec. 19. The final non-conference home game will be Saturday, Feb. 18 when the Wildcats will play a Bracketbuster game. After playing on the road last season, WSU will be home for the Bracketbuster game in 2012 but the opponent will not be announced until late January.
The 'Cats will face non-conference road games at UC Irvine on Nov. 19, at BYU on Dec. 7 and at Pac-12 member California on Dec. 16. They will also participate in the St. Mary's Classic in Moraga, Calif. Nov. 27-28.
The Big Sky Conference season will begin Dec. 29 when the Wildcats host conference rival Idaho State. WSU's next game will close out 2011 with a New Year's Eve game against Sacramento State. The 'Cats will open the conference schedule with five of the first seven games at home, including home games with Montana State, Montana, and Northern Arizona. Four of their final league games will be on the road, including the final three conference games at Montana State, Northern Colorado, and Montana. The top six finishers in the league standings will advance to the Big Sky Tournament, hosted by the regular season champion.
Weber State is coming off an 18-14 season in 2010-11 and their third straight appearance in a post-season tournament. The Wildcats finished third in the Big Sky and advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament. They also competed in the College Basketball Invitational. The Wildcats finished with an 11-5 conference record and have won 10 or more conference games for five straight seasons, just the fourth time that has occurred in league history.
WSU loses just two seniors off last year's squad and will have two Big Sky First Team All-Conference players returning in Kyle Bullinger and Scott Bamforth, who was also the Big Sky Newcomer of the Year. Also returning will be 2009-10 Big Sky MVP Damian Lillard who played in just nine games last season before a foot injury.